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Adult Beverages. December is the time for parties and entertaining, and everyone (including us) seemed to be on a red blend kick. I thought I'd mention three such wines that we particularly like; we've had all of these many times, and they are reliably good and drinkable. Dreaming Tree Crush (California) is a blend of Merlot, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, and Syrah. It's fruity but dry with light tannins and goes well with grilled meats and pulled pork. Hot to Trot from 14 Hands (Washington State) is a blend of Merlot and Syrah and has a nice spiciness to it. We like this as a basic table wine or just on its own. Quotation's Veramonte (Chile) is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon , Syrah, Carmenere, and Cabernet Franc. The hints of cherry and chocolate make this dry wine perfect for sipping in the evening.
Magic Brown Rice Arroz con Pollo. I had a hankering for the ultimate Mexican (or is it Southwestern?) comfort dish, arroz con pollo. I don't have an official source for the recipe I follow because I learned to make this dish from a friend when I was living in Arizona and had just gotten my first apartment. Back then, I specialized in two dinner dishes for guests: meatloaf and chicken and rice. Both are good choices for the beginning cook.
Anyway, over the years I've tried to make arroz con pollo with brown rice and have never been pleased with the results. Either the rice was undercooked or the chicken ended up overcooked. Last week I spent some time thinking about this issue and reading a bunch of recipes and blogs. I found a variety of tricks and tips and finally settled on this:
Yes, it was a simple as that. I made no other changes to my recipe whatsoever. The dinner came out perfect. And, no, I don't have a photo because I didn't think to take one. I suspect this trick will work in any recipe. Give it a try and let me know.Soak the brown rice in hot tap water for at least 15 minutes. Drain before using.